Reproductive characteristics and obesity in middle-aged women seen at an outpatient clinic in southern Brazil.

Menopause. 2012 Sep;19(9):1022-8.

Theodoro H, Rodrigues AD, Mendes KG, Liane RH, Paniz VM, Olinto MT.

Post-graduate Programme in Collective Health, University of Vale do Rios dos Sinos, RS, Brasil.


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the association between reproductive events and abdominal obesity (waist circumference, ≥ 88 cm) and general obesity (body mass index, ≥ 30.0 kg/m) in a sample of women between the ages of 40 and 65 years treated at an outpatient clinic in southern Brazil.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of a sample of 617 women from southern Brazil. Menopause status was classified as premenopausal, women who had regular menstrual cycles; perimenopausal, women who had irregular menstrual cycles whether in periodicity or flow; or postmenopausal, women whose last menstrual period occurred more than 12 months before the time of interview. Poisson regression was used to calculate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios and their respective 95% CIs.

RESULTS: The prevalence rates of abdominal and general obesity were 66.6% (95% CI, 62.8%-70.3%) and 45.5% (95% CI, 41.5%-9.4%), respectively. After adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral variables, early menarche (≤ 11 y) and parity were strong predictors of abdominal and general obesity, presenting a dose-response relationship. Women with a history of three or more pregnancies and menarche at age 11 years or earlier had a 25% higher prevalence of abdominal obesity (95% CI, 1.07-1.46) and a 75% increase in obesity (95% CI, 1.37-2.24) compared with nulliparous or primiparous women with menarche at 14 years or older. Women with a postmenopause status showed an increase of 52% in general obesity, compared with those with a premenopause status.

CONCLUSIONS: Characteristics of reproductive life may have a strong influence on body fat buildup in women during the menopausal transition.

PMID: 22549168

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